Jason Diljohn, Fidel Rampersad, Paramanand Maharaj, Kristyn Parmesar

Anatomical variations in the circle of Willis on magnetic resonance angiography in a south Trinidad population

  • General Medicine

Abstract Objectives This article seeks to determine the prevalence of a complete circle of Willis (CoW) and its common morphological variations in a south Trinidad population, while also investigating the influence of gender, age, and ethnicity on CoW morphology. Methods A prospective, descriptive, cross-sectional study was done on the magnetic resonance images for consecutive patients who had a brain MRI/magnetic resonance angiography at a tertiary health institution in south Trinidad between October 2019 and September 2020. Patients with significant cerebrovascular disease and/or a history of prior neurosurgical intervention were excluded. Results A complete CoW was seen in 24.3%, with more complete circles observed in younger participants (≤45 years) and Afro-Trinidadians. No gender predilection for a complete CoW was demonstrated. The most common variations in the anterior and posterior parts of the circle were a hypoplastic anterior communicating artery (8.6%, n = 13) and bilateral aplastic posterior communicating arteries (18.4%, n = 28), respectively. Conclusions Significant variations exist in the CoW of a south Trinidad population with a frequency of complete in 24.3%, and more complete circles in younger patients and Afro-Trinidadians. Gender did not influence CoW morphology. Advances in knowledge Structural abnormalities in the CoW may be linked to future incidence of cerebrovascular diseases and should therefore be communicated to the referring physician in the written radiology report. Knowledge of variant anatomy and its frequency for a particular populations is also required by neurosurgeons and neuro-interventional radiologists to help with preprocedural planning and to minimize complications.

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